The author on a climb; (photo/Kurt Joseph) Support us! GearJunkie may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More
On a lonely and unrelentingly steep ribbon of highway between Taylor and Georgetown, Texas, I pedaled into an August headwind.
Consistent 70mph traffic droned past my left shoulder. Nothing at all changed between here and the horizon, and it looked very far away.
In punishing direct sunlight and triple-digit heat, I toiled in the saddle. Sunscreen-laced sweat burned my eyeballs. My favorite cycling-designated jorts started feeling a little spicy on my nethers. This was mile 65 or something, and I’d thrown up my lunch back around mile 50.
But if I wasn’t exactly happy, I was fulfilled. The base joy of riding a bike had me by the root, and I was hooked — ever since ponying up $120 for a dilapidated but alluring Facebook roadie that spring.
As it turned out, the bike was a steel Miyata from the 1980s, a rare bird. And I’d ridden it all over central Texas in the three months since I’d started biking again. Now, I was in the thick of my first “century,” as cyclists put it, or 100-mile ride in a push.
That ride was not pretty. Depending on when you came across me, I could have been: Screaming into the wind at the top of my lungs Dismounting, then immediately cramping in all major lower-body muscle groups, and toppling over like a stick man Crying No, it wasn’t the […]
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